By support

15th May, 2018 | 2:20pm

Celtic in hunt to sign Newcastle fringe player, Benitez will sanction sale - report

Celtic are in the hunt to sign Newcastle centre-back Chancel Mbemba, according to a report.

The Newcastle Chronicle is reporting that Brendan Rodgers is interested in making a move for the 23-year-old defender, who has made only 11 appearances for the Magpies this season, and looks surplus to requirements as Rafa Benitez looks to sanction a sale of him in the summer.

The Magpies fringe player originally joined in 2015 from Anderlecht for £8million by then manager Steve McClaren, and he has never been a first-team regular under Benitez, and has been mostly on the fringes of the squad.

The player is under contract until 2020, so the Hoops will have to pay a fee for the player, who could be a replacement for Dedryck Boyata, should the Belgian not extend his contract with the Bhoys.

Football Insider verdict

This is the sort of signing that the Hoops should be making, an experienced defender who will cost a fair bit of money. The player seems like he could partner Kristoffer Ajer, who signed a four year contract with the Hoops on Monday. If the deal is to be done then the Hoops should get it done as soon as possible, to get the player bedded into the squad ahead of the Champions League qualifiers which begin in July. Mbemba could also replace Boyata should the player not sign a new deal with the Bhoys, as his contract runs out at the end of next season and the Bhoys won’t want to get into a situation where Boyata has the chance to leave on a free transfer. Hoops fans will be pleased though that the Bhoys are looking to make new signings ahead of next season and the battle to get into the very lucrative Champions League group stages.

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In other Celtic news, Chris Sutton has given his preview of next season’s title race

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